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STEPTEMBER – A FAMILY’S EXPERIENCE

Today we have a guest blog from Rebecca.  Rebecca’s family took part in Steptember last year and she explains how her whole family worked together to achieve the goal of 10,000 steps per day including her daughter, who has a physical disability.

“The month of September is getting close!!

Last year during this time, our family registered to take part in the Cerebral Palsy Alliance fundraiser, “Steptember”.

This occurred as I have a 14 year old daughter with a genetic physical disability similar to Cerebral Palsy. She attends a weekly therapy programe run by CPA called Conductive Education. As part of the children’s sessions, they received their own pedometer and started logging “steps” on a daily basis. They would clock up amazing results during the weekly sessions which was fantastic motivation to get them walking hard in their walking frames. The aim is to achieve 10,000 steps per day via pedometer reading or by logging in other activities that convert to a set number of steps. Converting physical activities to steps was a wonderful way to ensure this is an inclusive activity and fantastic motivation to increase physical exercise in any form.

Abby Steptember final
Taking part in Steptember.

As my daughter spends the majority of her day in a manual wheelchair, reaching 10,000 steps would be very difficult for her so we completed the tasks as a family. Many of her daily activities converted to “steps”. Her favourite was her weekly yoga class at school that converted to over 4000 steps!!! If we found we were short for the day, Mum, Dad or younger brother would make up the short fall.  CPA recognizes that everyone is different and so are the ways the daily steps can be achieved with over 40 activities being able to be converted into steps like hydrotherapy, yoga and manual wheelchair sports.

As a team, the group of 4 kids raised over $17,000 and ranked as the number one team worldwide. Overall Cerebral Palsy Alliance raised over $4 million that will be used to support babies, children and adults who utilise the Cerebral Palsy Alliance services.”

Thanks to Rebecca and family for sharing their story and way to go with that result last year.

Why am I sharing this guest blog?  Because the Cerebral Palsy Alliance have supported BJ and our family for the last 20 years and I am keen for one of the major fundraising campaigns to be a success.  The Cerebral Palsy Alliance supply vital services to people with cerebral palsy and even those that do not have that diagnosis.  They were the first place we were referred when BJ received a diagnosis of cerebral palsy.  We have been a part of early intervention, holiday, respite and intensive therapy programs.  The therapists have been my friend when times were tough, when I needed a gentle prod in the right direction and they were there to celebrate with me when BJ achieved.  Waiting lists have been long at times and that comes down to funding.  Families are desperate for support and services.

I hope Steptember will be a success.

If you’re interested in taking part in this event, please register via the Steptember website www.steptember.org.au

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